Sir Halford John Mackinder Additional Biography


(20th-Century Biographies)

Blouet, Brian W. Halford Mackinder: A Biography. College Station: Texas A&M Press, 1987. The long-awaited full biography. The bibliography, which is comprehensive, lists 111 works by Mackinder from 1887 to 1945. Explains some of the personal aspects of Mackinder’s activities, such as the lack of close friends, the absence of dedicated students, and the failed marriage.

Blouet, Brian W. “Sir Halford Mackinder as British High Commissioner to South Russia, 1919-1920.” Geographical Journal 108 (1976): 228-236. A step-by-step presentation of the notorious commission sent into Eastern Europe and Russia in 1919-1920, headed by Mackinder, which effectively laid the foundation of an anti-Bolshevik alliance. Incorporates previously secret files from the Public Record Office. The failure affected Mackinder politically and personally.

Gilbert, Edmund W., and W. H. Parker. “Mackinder’s Democratic Ideals and Reality After Fifty Years.” Geographical Journal 135 (June, 1969): 228-231. An appreciation of Mackinder’s major book after fifty years. Gilbert concludes that the book was too far ahead of its time, and its relevance has increased with time.

Hall, Arthur B. “Mackinder and the Course of Events.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 45 (June, 1955): 109-126. A thorough and scholarly assessment of Mackinder’s geopolitical theories from the perspective of American scholars. Hall concludes that Mackinder set out to create “a geographical formula into which you could fit any political balance.”

Parker, W. H. Mackinder: Geography as an Aid to Statecraft. London: Oxford University Press, 1982. An intellectual history. Parker analyzes the Mackinder-Haushofer link and the criticism of the Heartland thesis. Not a biography.